Steve Gold, Fredrik Eklund, and Luis D. Ortiz have insider tips to put any buyer or seller in the driver’s seat, especially in a competitive market. This season of the show, the brokers seem to struggle as the lucrative market appeared to turn. Sales the previously came easily are now hard to get, leaving brokers to tap into their creative side.
But, the brokers say buyers and sellers don’t have to transform into Sam Jones or become a magician to make real estate magic. Here are some of their most important tips.
Buyers should evaluate a home during the day and at night
Eklund says lighting is everything. “The best piece of advice always for buying a home is looking at the light,” he exclaims. “Vampires have no money and you want to be able to renovate maybe later, upgrade the furniture. The light … the light you can never change.”
He adds buyers should look at the windows, return during the daytime. “Really measure the light,” Eklund adds. Gold agrees that buyers should check out the property several different times. “Day and night,” he says. “Sometimes the property in the day is very different than at night and you want to experience both ways.”
Gold also wants buyers to take their time and not rush into a home purchase. Plus, “It’s a buyers market and there’s going to be more opportunities out there. So you don’t need to feel the pressure from the listing agent that they create a sense of urgency. Take your time with it.”
What if you are a first-time homebuyer?
Ortiz has advice for the first time homebuyer. “First you have to get educated on the market,” he says. “Get a good broker who can help you filter all the information because there’s a lot of it.”
Also, “Make sure you are pre-qualified and you have all your documents and all your financials on point before wasting your time and making offers that you may not be able to come up with the money at the end of the day,” he advises.
Then, once you know what you can (or can’t) afford, take your time looking. Plus, this important piece of advice: “Don’t think too emotional about it,” he says. “Because the first time, we just want to jump on the first thing that tickles us. But perhaps sometimes when something calls you, it calls you.”
What about selling your home?
Eklund says to keep it light when it comes to selling. “Really neutralize the cluttering the painting, the lighting,” he advises. “Making it fresh. You have no idea how many apartments and houses I see. I come in and see clutter, religious items, and political items. And dogs and cats and smells. And weird red paint. You know, very dark.”
He adds that sellers should also literally keep their home light too. “I always walk with sellers through the house and they turn lights off as we are leaving each room,” Eklund says. “And I’m like, are they trying to save on the electricity bill when this house is $40 million? Brighten it up.”
Ortiz says sellers also need to be realistic about pricing. The price should be based on the comparables in the current market. “Before you have other agents and brokers tell you a specific price because they want your business,” he says. Also, Gold says photos are a huge priority. “I really believe strongly, make sure your photos are on fire,” he insists.”Everyone is looking at properties digitally now. If you don’t have incredible photos you are going to miss the buyers getting into the door.”